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Teresa Gomez

An angel among us

I grew up on the streets in Boston, and my mother had to work, so she would leave me at the playground to play by myself every day. One day, while I were playing, one of the local nannys (Teresa Gomez) saw that I was playing all by myself. She gave me a snack, but otherwise let me continue playing.

Over the course of the next few days, Teresa would bring me more food, clothes, and even a few toys. I became friends with the child that she watched (Ashley Hannover), and Teresa started watching me, and bringing me back to the Hannover's house without them knowing. Every day I would meet her at the playground, play for a while, and then go back for lunch, and the afternoon.

She would then walk me back to the playground in the evening and my mom would pick me up. Over the years, I grew closer and closer to Ashley Hannover, and although we didn't ever date, I always felt a strong bond with her. I graduated high school, and Teresa helped me get enrolled in some community college mechanics classes. Ashley went to the University of Southern California (USC) where she studied to become a doctor.

One day Teresa brought her car in for some work at my shop, and Ashley was sitting in the passenger's seat. I hadn't seen her in a few years. They were going out for lunch to catch up on all that had happened since she had moved away. They invited me out, but since I was at work, I made plans to catch up with Ashley over drinks. Eight years later, we are now married and expecting a boy in June. Ashley is working in Newton as a pediatrician, and I am the head mechanic at the local Jiffy Lube in Framingham. Teresa lives in Medford, and I still stop in once a month to give her updates on life, and now the pregnancy. Mother Teresa is the unsung hero that is my other mother.

- Henry Johnson

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